love your career

When your career needs some love

Is it time to move on at work?

Career a bit stuckI know it might be hard to admit. You like your job. You like your colleagues. The work you do is important. But you’ve been in the same role for a while, and it’s clear you need a new challenge. If you’re honest, you’re feeling a bit stuck.

It’s time for something new.

The obvious first step is to start looking around for a new job. Putting out feelers. Logging on to third sector career websites. You might even be making the odd application here and there. And that might be the right thing. But you know what, there is another way to go about getting a new challenge at work.

Looking at the bigger picture. Taking some time to think about what you’d truly love to be doing. Acting rather than re-acting to whatever comes your way.

Take charge of your career

In my career coaching with third sector professionals (and others who want to move into the sector) I’m not crazy about coaching people who absolutely have to get a job right now this minute. When the pressure is on, totally understandably, they’re not bothered about creating a vision of their perfect working world which is what I absolutely love to do with my clients (and my clients love it too). They want practical help with signing on with agencies, CVs and interview techniques so they can get that new job, pay those bills, take the pressure off. I would be the same.

With a little more time to reflect, I encourage my coaching clients to create a vision of the perfect working scenario for them, in glorious technicolour. The sights. The smells. The sounds.


Once we’ve found their vision, we put together an exciting plan of action for anything from a few months to a few years, to make sure they get there. That vision keeps them going through all the ups and downs of landing a fabulous new job.

Find your career vision

You might like to give creating your own career vision a go. It’s not difficult but you’ll want to give yourself a little undisturbed time and space, so your ideas can flow and you can really tap into your heart-felt desires, without all the ‘sensibleness’ getting in the way.

When you’re ready, take an A4 piece of paper and in the centre write down ‘Five Years Time’. Then reflect for a moment and see what comes up in answer to the question:

1. “What would I love my working life to be like in five years?”

Jot your ideas down in words or images around your title. Remember, this is what you’d love, not what you think you ought to do. You might include: I work with creative, positive people. I’m working part-time. I absolutely love what I do. I’m teaching and leading others. You might be clear enough about your vision that you can get really specific with your role such as ‘I am a senior fundraiser in a large organisation.’ but it’s not essential at all.

2. When you’re ready to move on, answer this question in the same way:

“What would that mean for my life as a whole?”

You might include: I am happy and fulfilled. I get home on time and see my family. I love going into work every day. We have enough money to move.  My confidence is sky high.

Take a good look at it. There’ll be a lot of ‘yes buts’ and ‘what ifs’, no doubt, but you now have the beginning of a career vision – which is a great place to start.

Over to you

I invite you to share 3 things in your career vision by hitting ‘Reply’ in the Comments section below. I’d love to hear from you.

What next?

If you’d like to give your career a little love and you need help to take it the next level, join me for a free, live webinar “Charity Career Reboot” which I’ll be running later this summer. Only a limited number of people can join the webinar so click here to get front of queue and ensure you’re on the call. 






4 responses to “When your career needs some love”

  1. Miriam Linderman avatar

    Thanks for the ideas here. I liked the two questions you posed and the idea that I can simply brainstorm as ideas come, with words or images around the question. I like mind mapping too. I find it daunting to think out any numbers of years, but that wouldn’t stop me from playing with those two questions. And it’s so much easier not to feel pressure to rush to another job, isn’t it, because a vision takes time.

  2. Katrin avatar

    Yes, I can totally relate to that.
    Being in the tunnel and feeling the pressure to pay the bills. Plus this “markerstone” in life, when your job becomes part of your identity on so many levels and you don’t want to lose it because it feels as if you’re losing part of your identity as well.

    It’s been a tough time along with the frustrations from the job itself.
    For me there was actually just one option: self-employment.
    That was also tough, but never have I had any regrets.

  3. Katie Duckworth avatar
    Katie Duckworth

    Thank you, Miriam, for your comments. I’m so glad the questions resonated with you. I love the idea of playing with these, without pressure, to see what comes up.

  4. Katie Duckworth avatar
    Katie Duckworth

    Well done on making your vision a reality, Katrin!